Vanessa and Caroline Making it in Management Thanks to Apprenticeships

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Two recently promoted retail workers have described how Apprenticeships have given them the crucial skills they need to succeed as managers.

Vanessa Hawken and Caroline Mayne had both been appointed Assistant Managers at kitchen and homeware chain Lawsons – and knew the value training would bring to making them a success in their new roles.

Mastering management requires a fresh set of skills, so the Lawsons team contacted City College Plymouth to invest in their development and the future of the business with two Apprenticeship courses.

Caroline has worked in retail for 35 years, six of which at Lawsons as a part-time Sales Assistant. She began her Level 3 Management Apprenticeship when she was promoted to Assistant Manager last year.

“My employer chose City College Plymouth to deliver the Apprenticeship, however I cannot recommend the College enough, it would be my first choice,” she said.

“The support I have received from my family and assessor at the College have made returning to education possible. They have motivated me and reassured me the hard work is all worthwhile.

“Lawsons has helped me to further my career by giving me the opportunity to undertake the Apprenticeship. With the knowledge I have gained from the qualification I can continue to climb the career ladder and flourish in my new role. My ultimate goal is to run my own shop one day.

“To any adults thinking about an Apprenticeship, I can’t recommend the College enough! It has boosted my confidence and taught me skills which I will use now and in my future career. Although it is tough, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”

In 2017/18, 38% of people undertaking an Apprenticeship were aged 25 or over in England – compared to 31% under 19, busting the myth that Apprenticeships are largely for school leavers.

Vanessa has worked at Lawsons for 14 years and her hard work was recently rewarded with a promotion to Assistant Manager. Keen to improve her knowledge, Vanessa also started an Apprenticeship in management with City College Plymouth.

“The qualification has taught me the key responsibilities, skills and behaviours of an Assistant Manager,” she said.

“Many of my colleagues had successfully completed courses at City College Plymouth and had good things to say, so I had no doubts that studying my Apprenticeship would be a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

“I really enjoy being customer-facing and working with different people so taking on a managerial role was the next logical step in my career.

“The management Apprenticeship has taught me everything I need to know to become an efficient manager. I received fantastic support from the assessors at the College and my family were there every step of the way.”

To discover how the College can help support you or your organisation’s training needs, please contact the College’s Business Engagement Team on 01752 305026 or e-mail [email protected].